Author: Staff

We take care of business.

Labor Day 2017 Meeting at Schmidlin Farm

The Forest Grove Community and Senior Center in Forest Grove, Oregon, will be closed for Labor Day this year. The meeting will be at Schmidlin Farm in Vernonia at the usual time. Susan and Mike have graciously agreed to host us, and tours of the farm will be available after lunch.

We will do prompts and writing exercises from 9AM to about noon, then have a potluck lunch. Please bring something to share with everyone with a small sign that indicates any potential food allergies.

As a reminder, if you haven’t signed up for the WordPress and Scrivener 4-week courses yet, head to the Center and register to ensure a spot in the classes. The first one begins the Monday after Labor Day.

We will return to our regularly scheduled programming the following week.

Have a great holiday weekend and enjoy the extended hot summer while it lasts. See you on Monday!

Advertisements

Never Give Up

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Patti Bond.

When you feel like
You are beaten down,
Maybe you are.
Never give up!

You get bad news
Feel like you can’t go on.
Yes, you can.
Never give up!

Given a life-threatening health crisis.
Feel like life will not get better.
Yes, it will.
Never give up!

Berry picker, babysitter, nursing assistant.
Feel like you are
Overworked and underpaid?
Yes, you are.
Never give up!

Wherever life takes you
Remember to never give up
For you never know
What is waiting for you
Around the corner.
Never give up!

Writing Tips: Is There Dessert in the Desert?

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Gretchen Keefer.

Dessert is luscious, and often “sickeningly sweet” — hence the two “ss” in dessert.

The desert is too dry to support more than one “s.”

Shift the accent on desert – the place – and you have desert, the action.

The legionnaire de-SER-ted his post in the DES-ert.

Where Do Clouds Go?

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Patti Bond.

Clouds are beautiful.
They have their own distinct calling.
They produce rain, snow, overcast,
Or hide so clear, blue sky shines forth.

Where do clouds go?
Do they go off the face of the earth?
Isn’t the sky where heaven resides
Letting people think about their loved ones?

The earth is so unending.
One client can be hot, rainy, and snowy
For the seasons are endless.
Maybe that’s where the clouds go
To other parts of the earth.

The Athlete

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Susan Schmidlin, based upon the Prompt-a-Month: Water.

With the wind rippling the surface of the lake, the breeze cooled the picnic area while the throng of on-lookers watched. They were all enjoying the competition.

A jet boat towed a gangly teenager toward the ski ramp. The long arms and legs of the teen created quite a spectacle of awkward movements and uncomfortable contortions. Holding tight to the tow rope, he barely stayed upright as he bounced along the white water wake behind the boat. The look of fierce determination on his face belied his struggle, his bent knees barely able to stand on the bumpy chop of the lake surface.

The jet boat revved up as it came toward the wooden deck of the ramp. At the apex, he let go of the tow rope and became airborne before the downward arc of gravity took over. The voluminous splash of a perfected cannonball was the accomplished goal and the crowd cheered during that hot summer afternoon at the lake.

Local Pen Pals Needed for Forest Grove Elementary Schools

The Forest Grove Elementary School District in Forest Grove, Oregon, is looking for volunteers to be local pen pals with their students. They are eager to help children learn how to write and read cursive as well as communicate via handwritten letters with others. For more information, contact your local school or use our contact form.

I Wish

The following was written and shared by Writers in the Grove member, Patti Bond.

I wish upon the stars,
Stars so shiny and bright.

I wish the world would
Be at peace.

I wish that everyone
Would get along.

I wish for the homeless to be
Able to find a place to live.

I wish for happiness
And joy for all.

I wish for wishes to come
True so the world would
Be a different place.

I wish upon the rainbow that
People would just be happy.

What Would We Be Without Gardens

The following was written by Writers in the Grove member, Patti Bond, as part of our month long prompt, garden.

Yellow Rose Bud from Portland International Rose Garden - closeup photo by Lorelle VanFossen.Trees, shrubs, flowers, and vegetables, all these make up gardens. While I was growing up, we had a huge vegetable garden. My family planted cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, and pumpkins.

I remember one Fall, we grew a huge pumpkin. It was mine and it was stolen. I was very upset.

I took to foot looking for it. I found it in someone’s garage.

I high-tailed it home and retrieved my little red wagon. I snuck back there and brought my pumpkin home. While I don’t recall any other major mishaps with the garden, which was probably a good thing, I remember my family focused on keeping not only the vegetable garden but other gardens we tended, too.

To name a few, we had many flower gardens, roses, petunias, and colorful daffodils. Gardens are a lot of work to maintain with all the watering, weeding, fertilizing, and pruning. Certain flowers only bloom during specific times of the year. For example, roses only bloom in summer through early fall in the Pacific Northwest. Daffodils come up in early March, or sometimes, if the weather is unseasonably warm, daffodils come up in late February, a bright surprise at the end of winter.

Gardens that are kept up nice usually means that people care about the way their house and yard looks. Today, there are also garden flags people display in their yard which look nice.

I loved picking flowers from the garden to make beautiful floral arrangements to give to family and friends, or even to enjoy on my bedside table. They bring me such happiness, what would we do without gardens?

Who You Are

The following is by Writers in the Grove member Bev Walker.

You are the end of a million generations
foraging for food and shelter.
Thousands of times, over and over,
famine has wiped out whole nations.
Each time, one of your family survived.
Or you wouldn’t be here.

You are the end of a million generations
devastated by disease and storm.
For a million years, in a million places,
through showers of meteors,
Thousand of times, over and over
while all around them died.
One of your family was left standing,
and had to bury the rest.

You are the end of a million generations
torn apart by earthquake, flood, tornado,
arctic blizzard, every terror you can imagine,
whole nations buried beneath every desert,
Whole civilizations lost beneath sea and jungle,
now known only to birds and fishes.
Whole races gone, all gone…except
one of your family.
The result is you.

You are the end of a million generations
destroyed by war after war,
Marauding armies determined to wipe out all in their path.
Somehow, one after another,
century after century,
One of your family made it through all that;
you are the proof.

Neither they, nor you, made it because
you’re the smartest, healthiest, or bravest.
“Survival of the fittest” went out the window
the first time someone reached out
To the wounded, an orphan, a cripple, the sick;
that’s the difference between you
And the ant and the crocodile.

Through a thousand ice ages,
through whole continents ablaze,
There stood one who is still a part of you,
yes, you, and your neighbor, whatever your ilk.
You are the end result of a million miracles,
a treasure, a pearl of great price.

Good Enough

The following is from our Writers in the Grove member, Lorelle VanFossen, for our prompt-a-month series for July, based upon the prompt “garden.”

Sunflower, close upThe petals radiated out in a burst of sunlight, yellow, softly moving in the breeze. A bee landed on the center, climbing around the pistil and stamens that would soon become the seeds I’d snack on over the winter. They were so good, my mouth watered.

The center pattern of the sunflower is considered by many to be a mathematical marvel. I find it hypnotizing. While many believe it is a helix pattern, I trace the Fibonacci sequence from the center, spiraling out, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55…each number a sum of the previous two numbers. From the center, the future seeds curve curves out in two series, each winding in the opposite direction, stretching out to the very petals, each seed aligned with its neighbor, a mosaic found throughout history in the ancient tiled floors of the Byzantines, Romans, Greeks, and Moors. Or so my text books say.

The bee leaps off the flower as the wind tilts the flowery landscape, then returns, a black and yellow fuzzy creature crawling around the spiraling maze.

A thump on the ground next to me draws my attention back to earth. It’s my sister. She tugs on the soft green leaves of the plant. The bee loses its purchase and flies away.

“Whatcha doing?”

“Counting.”

She’s heard this before, and she never asks the obvious next question. She doesn’t care much about the world beyond her nose.

“I’m bored.”

I have no answer for that. It’s a statement that stymies me every time. How could anyone be bored. There is so much to see, so much to do, so much to learn – even the flowers teach us math and pattern. To her, this is an old song. The responsibility of the world is to entertain her, and right now, we are failing her.

A hawk stabs the air with its cry. I lean back to see it circling overhead, lifting on the warm current. A small bird dives out of seemingly nowhere to jab at it, warning the giant predator that it has been seen and it is not wanted. I swap a mosquito buzzing around my ear and wish I could do the same to all the mosquitoes this time of year.

“Let’s do something,” she orders me. I think we are. Clearly, not enough for her. “There must be something for us to do around here.”

A chill runs up my spine. This was a warning sign. Trouble was ahead. A bored Cindy was a danger to all peaceful and good creatures.

Action was required. I stood up, dusting off the dry dirt and leaves from my backside. Without another person in sight, the job to entertain my sister and keep her and all around her from harm became my responsibility.

On my list of chores and things-to-do I found enjoyable were mucking out the barn, pulling weeds, refilling the horse trough, and checking on the chickens. None of these passed Cindy’s criteria for amusement. These were my times, time spent on repetitive tasks so ingrained, I moved through them without thinking, my find free to wander, explore, and revisit books and text books, absorbing and processing the lessons from school and all around me. She found these tasks, in her words, “utterly boring and mundane.” Big words for a little girl in a frilly white and yellow lace dress with sparkling silver shoes, a fashion statement at odds with the farm.

“Want me to push you on the swing?” The rubber spare tire swing hung sadly from the old pully pole on the barn.

“Nah, did that yesterday.”

“You seemed to enjoy it.”

“Yeah, but that was yesterday. It’s boring now.”

“We could go down to the pond and skip rocks.”

“It’s too far.”

“It’s a three minute walk.”

“I said it was too far.” (more…)